It is vitally important that farmers participate in the upcoming survey on Best Management Practices (BMP) implementation to show the Legislature and the public that we are serious about the sustainability of our water resources.
As a result of the 2016 Florida Water Bill passed by the Florida Legislature, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) is required to provide an annual BMP implementation report to the legislature beginning July 1. 2018.
Starting in January, FDACS will be reaching out to farmers in a variety of ways to collect BMP implementation data. It is important to note that the BMP implementation data for individual producers will remain confidential and exempt from public disclosure.
Data will be collected in a variety of ways depending on several factors:
- For farmers in the EAA/C-139 basins with 405-63 permits, BMP implementation status will be determined by the status of compliance with the farmer’s 40E-63 permit information that is supplied by South Florida Water Management District.
- For farmers who either enrolled or had an Implementation Assurance site visit with FDACS field staff since April 1st, the field staff will complete the verification based on their knowledge of the operations and will contact the producers only if additional information is needed.
- For all other farmers with more than five Notices-of-Intent (NOIs) (approximately 400 throughout Florida), the FDACS field staff will initiate the contact and walk through the verification with the farmer.
- For all other farmers with five or fewer NOIs, FDACS will send a notification by email and mail asking them to either complete an on-line self-verification or contact FDACS field staff for assistance.
All farmers will also receive a notification of this process with appropriate instructions by January 1st.
Florida Agriculture has a positive story to tell about current operations to protect water quality and encourage water conservation and the FDACS needs help in giving this message to the Florida Legislature.
Contact Charles Shinn at 352-374-1522 (Charles.Shinn@ffbf.org) for additional information.